Tips for traveling in old age

Tips for traveling in old age

Retirement offers the possibility of doing almost all those things that during the working life have not been possible due to the different obligations that the adult stage entails. Therefore, it is a perfect age to travel and enjoy a well-deserved vacation. The years do not have to be an impediment to pack. However, it is advisable to take into account a series of tips before embarking on your departure: which destinations to choose, how to plan the trip or the activities that can be carried out.

Where to go on vacation?

When choosing the destination, Eugenio Marañón, deputy doctor of the Geriatrics Service of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid, explains that there are no limitations due to age but due to illness. Depending on whether you suffer from any significant pathology, you should opt for destinations that are not far from your habitual residence and with a mild climate and without excessive humidity.

Jesús Santianes, member of the Chronicity Working Group of the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (Semergen), agrees: «Age should not be the only criterion that conditions a possible holiday destination, preference should be given to personal preferences and preferences. consider the person’s health status. » It proposes trips to spas, cultural tourism or cruises as good alternatives.

Preparations and planning for the trip

There are a number of issues that must be assessed before the trip is scheduled to prevent any incident that may occur at the destination.

Medical report

Both experts suggest asking your Primary Care doctor for a medical report that includes the existing pathologies and medication guidelines. «If the trip is to a foreign country, an English translation should be carried out,» Marañón explains.

The medication and the first aid kit

«It is very important that you do not forget to take your medications for the entire period you think you are out and keep the drugs in a cool place, since the heat can alter its composition and effects,» recalls Carlos Verdejo, section head of the Geriatrics Service of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital of Madrid. The geriatrician of the Hospital Gregorio Marañón advises taking the medication in the hand luggage to avoid losses and include a kit with basic material of cures, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs.


Santianes recommends getting information about the required vaccines and planning it in enough time to complete the necessary vaccination schedule.

Health card and health insurance

To ensure health care anywhere, you should always carry the health card in the case of traveling in Spain, apply for the European health card for care in the European Union and, if traveling outside the European community, inquire about insurance doctors, as indicated by Marañón.

Activity and physical exercise

«In summer months, physical exercise should be lighter, recommending especially walking or swimming. In addition, you have to wear comfortable clothes, light, light colors and if it can be breathable, along with comfortable and light footwear, «suggests the head of section of the Geriatrics Service Hospital Clinico San Carlos. «Aerobic exercise, such as walking, combined with flexibility exercises and joint mobility should be present on a day-to-day basis, avoiding high intensity and the hottest hours of the day,» adds Santianes.

But physical activity is not only important once it has reached the destination, also during the trip: «Get up every two hours and do movements with the legs and flexoextension with the ankle prevents prolonged rest during the trip and venous thrombosis deep in the lower extremities, «says Marañón.

How to cope with the heat and the sun

«The direct effect of UVA rays on the skin can negatively influence it, causing changes in its layers and making it more vulnerable to possible damage from external agents,» says Verdejo. He also insists on the side effects of prolonged exposure to the sun that can cause too much water to be lost and the body to have less circulatory volume, causing a sensation of instability and even loss of consciousness.

Likewise, the member of Semergen, recalls the good use of sunscreen, as well as the use of hats, scarves or similar. The three agree in avoiding to go out in the central hours of greater heat and solar radiation, between 11 in the morning and 7 in the afternoon, trying also to stay in the shadow areas.

It is also important to fight against dehydration by drinking two liters of liquid daily, on a frequent and regular basis, and to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages and added sugars.

How to face the hour changes

To deal with the possible hourly changes that occur during a stay away from home, Marañón gives a series of indications:

  • Perform a gradual adaptation, without sudden changes.
  • Maintain a minimum of 7 hours of sleep.
  • Avoid a drastic change in eating habits.


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